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The Rogue Changes Coming in Warlords of Draenor

Updated 9/20/14. Warlords will be released on Nov 13, 2014.

Things are changing for Rogues in Warlords of Draenor, though (thankfully) less than with the last couple of expansions. There is no world breaking and no complete overhaul of the talent system. There are a number of “tweaks” coming, however. These are intended to streamline the game a bit and make our action bars a bit easier to manage. Keep in mind that all of this may change by the time Warlords is released and will probably be patched & hotfixed for some weeks after that. First off is…

Also note that all of the links below are to the Warlords version of the abilities, not the Mists version.

Rogue Stats

As you may know by now, the Hit and Expertise stats are dead. Reforging is also going away. Bliz decided that they were “not fun.” These stats are replaced by new secondary stats: Bonus Armor (for tanks,) Multistrike (grants a chance for spells and abilities to fire up to 2 additional times, at 30% effectiveness,) and Versatility (Increases damage, healing, and absorption done. Reduces damage taken.)

For a time there was a “Readiness” stat, which reduced cooldowns. This stat has been slain.

Agility and the Crit

Agility no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with any abilities. Everyone now has a base 5% chance to crit. Rogies (and other Agility Dps classes) now get a passive ability, Critical Strikes, that adds 10% to the base chance to crit.

Agility now adds 1 Attack Power per point, down from 2. Various other tweaks to the AP calculations will compensate for this.

Stat “Attunement”: Blizzard is going to assign one stat to every class and spec that it figures will be a solid “throughput” stat. This stat will receive a 5% bonus, and should be the best choice for raw damage. Depending on what you’re doing, exactly, you might still favor another stat. These “attunements” appear along with various abilities.

Changes to the Rogue’s Abilities

Ability Pruning. It’s just like it sounds. Prune a few “less useful” abilities from the ability tree. Blizzard is doing this to make the action bars a bit more manageable, by having a few less items to put there. Rogues are actually receiving less pruning, nipping, and tucking than some of the other classes.

Abilities That Are To Be Pruned

  • Redirect has been removed, but you weren’t using it anyway, right? Right? It’s Ok actually, since Bliz says, “Combo Points for Rogues are now shared across all targets. You no longer lose your Combo Points when switching targets.” I think this will be a pretty welcome change for all Rogues.
  • Disarm Trap has been removed. This will be missed, but maybe not a lot.
  • Shadow Blades has been removed. I think this will be missed more.
  • Shadow Walk has been removed.
  • Fan of Knives is no longer available to Combat Rogues. Shaking my head on this one. Seems like too popular an ability to dump. Perhaps it’s because the Enhanced Blade Flurry perk removes the target cap of Blade Flurry?
  • Rupture is no longer available to Combat Rogues. Not sure why they want to remove this, but it looks like periodic effects aren’t in their design for combat? This also goes along with removing the bleed from Crimson Tempest with the Empowered Crimson Tempest perk and your Deadly Poison being replaced with the Instant Poison perk.
  • Ambidexterity has been removed, which will nerf auto-attack damage a bit. Damage of the active abilities has been increased to compensate and make them more rewarding.

Changed, but not pruned

General Rogue Changes

  • As noted above: Combo Points for Rogues are now shared across all targets. You no longer lose your Combo Points when switching targets. This makes it a bit more like the Paladin’s Holy Power and will make target switching a lot easier.
  • Tricks of the Trade now has no energy cost and no longer increases damage caused by the target by 15%. Only threat is transferred, so it’s useless for PvP. With aggro not really being an issue for tanks its use for PvE seems questionable.
  • Crimson Tempest’s periodic damage now has rolling periodic behavior, meaning that remaining damage from the previous application is added into the newly-applied periodic-damage effect.
  • Smoke Bomb now reduces damage taken by 10% (down from 20%.)
  • Ambush no longer requires the Rogue to be behind the target.
  • Recuperate now heals for 5% of maximum health per tick (up from 3%.)
  • Safe Fall’s effects have been merged into baseline Fleet Footed.
  • Tricks of the Trade now has no energy cost and no longer increases damage caused by the target by 15%. This makes it useless for PvP.
  • Garrote now ticks every 2 seconds (up from every 3 seconds). Damage has been adjusted to compensate.


Earlier on in the beta various Assassination abilities allows use weapons other than daggers. Those changes were removed and you’re back to daggers only.

  • Assassin’s Resolve Its damage increase is now 15%, down from 20%. It still requires daggers.
  • Seal Fate now also grants a combo point for area attacks that critically strike the Rogue’s primary target.
  • Blindside’s effects have been merged into baseline Mutilate.
  • Cut to the Chase’s effects have been merged into baseline Envenom.
  • Envenom now increases poison chance by 30% (up from 15%.)
  • Venomous Wounds’s effects have been merged into baseline Rupture for Assassination Rogues. It no longer triggers from Garrote and now always triggers when Rupture deals damage (up from a 75% chance.)


Combat Rogues also get a few tweaks.

  • Blade Flurry can now trigger poisons.
  • Revealing Strike no longer advances Bandit’s Guile. This is intended to give the Combat Rogue a little more control over their rotation, that is: more control over triggering Bandit’s Guile. RS also grants Sinister Strike a 25% chance to generate an extra Combo Point.
  • Killing Spree no longer increases all damage done for the duration. Its damage has been increased to compensate.
  • Relentless Strikes’ effects have been merged into Ruthlessness for Combat Rogues only. It remains a separate passive for Assassination and Subtlety Rogues.
  • Restless Blades’ effects have been merged into Ruthlessness.
  • Main Gauche now deals off-hand weapon damage. Its damage has been increased to compensate.


Those master backstabbers, Subtlety Rogues, have a few tweaks to clean up their ability lists.

  • Backstab can now be used on either side of the target, in addition to behind the target.
  • Hemorrhage’s periodic damage is now based on attack power (instead of the initial strike’s damage), and ticks every 2 seconds. Damage has been adjusted to compensate.
  • Honor Among Thieves can now also be triggered by critical hits from the Rogue’s melee Auto Attacks. This is intended to make soloing Sub. Rogues more effective.
  • Energetic Recovery’s effects have been merged into baseline Slice and Dice for Subtlety Rogues.
  • Find Weakness’ effects have been merged into baseline Ambush, Garrote, and Cheap Shot for Subtlety Rogues.
  • Master of Subtlety’s effects have been merged into baseline Stealth for Subtlety Rogues.
  • Sinister Calling now increases Agility by 15% (down from 30%), and the amount of Multistrike bonus received from all sources by 5% (in order to act as Subtlety’s Secondary Stat Attunement). And finally, when the rogue Multistrikes with Backstab or Ambush, they also twist the blade, causing all Bleed effects to instantly tick an additional time.

Rogue Talents, Perks, and Abilities

Perks are what we get instead of new abilities as we level past 90.

Some classes get different talents depending on their spec, but all Rogue specs have access to the same talents regardless of spec.

Level 100 Rogue Talents, tier 7

  • Level 15: Subterfuge is changing a bit. You no longer stay stealthed for three seconds when attacking (or attacked,) but you can still use your abilities as if you were stealthed. Much like a brief Shadow Dance.
  • Level 30: Deadly Throw no longer has a minimum range.
  • Level 60: Burst of Speed now costs 30 Energy (up from 15 Energy.) Perhaps they got tired of you sprinting across the entire battlefield?
  • The level 75 talent Paralytic Poison will be removed. The new talent will be “Internal Bleeding.” This will be an additional bleed, based off of your Kidney shot. A successful KS causes the bleed and combo points increases the damage.

The Level 100 Talents:

  1. Venom Rush: Increases max energy (does this stack with other energy increases?) and increases energy regeneration for each enemy poisoned, up to three. This will mean more Fan of Knives use, I think, except for Combat (since Fan is being removed for Combat.)
  2. Shadow Reflection summons a shadow that “memorizes” what you do for the next 8 seconds, then replays those strikes on the target. This could be rather cool and could really extend your burst. Will it copy Shadowdance and all the strikes used? If so then this might be brutal in certain situations, especially if you can pop it with all your “on use” cooldowns and trinkets. Don’t expect a PvP target to hang around for all this damage.
  3. Death From Above empowers your weapons with Shadow Energy. This is a finishing strike (damage is based on your combo points used) which lets you attack all nearby enemies and then leap up and crash down on the main target for Eviscerate + 50% damage. Could be a lot of fun if done right.

The Changes to Rogue Glyphs

Glyphs are undergoing changes, as well.

As you level your Rogue you will automatically learn certain glyphs, just as you do talents and abilities. The rest of the glyphs, which will change as they always do with expansions, will still be available on the Auction House.

Here are the glyphs that your Rogue will be automatically learning:

  1. Level 25: Deadly Momentum and Stealth,
  2. Level 50: Recuperate
  3. level 75: Ambush and Cheap Shot
  4. Note that no minor glyphs will be automatically learned.

Dead Glyphs: None. The glyphs that are automatically learned will not appear in a scribe’s glyph list, though.

New Rogue Glyphs

  • Glyph of Energy: Increases your maximum Energy by 20. Hmmm… this one might be “required.”
  • Glyph of Elusiveness: Reduces the cooldown on Evasion by 30 sec. Ok, I can see this one being useful.
  • Glyph of Energy Flows: Each time you dodge while Evasion is active, you gain 10 Energy. Depending on how often you evade this one could be nice.
  • Glyph of Disappearance: Reduces the cooldown on Vanish by 60 sec, to a 1 min cooldown, but when Vanish’s duration ends, Stealth is no longer automatically activated. Depending on just how you use your Vanish and Stealth, this could have some use. Seems like it’ll only be for specific situations.

They’re Rogue Perks, not Abilities.

Perks are acquired randomly as you level from 91 onward. So a level 95 Rogue might have a completely different set of perks than another 95 Rogue of the same spec. By level 100 they’ll both have all the same perks. The order of perks shown here is, therefore, not the order in which they will be acquired.

Earlier in the beta test there were a lot more perks. Some of those are now dead, others were incorporated into other abilities. As of now everyone will get four perks. All of the perks are passives. Some are pretty sweet.

Assassination Combat Subtlety


Sensus Discusses the Upcoming Changes to Rogues in Warlords of Draenor.

The level 100 Talents:

So what are your thoughts? Comment below!

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